Siouxsie & The Banshees – Spellbound

Way back in 1981 my second cousin came to stay with my family for a couple of weeks. About 3 years my senior she was easily the coolest member of my family that i’d met.

We went on a shopping trip to Oasis in Birmingham. It was the first time i’d been in Oasis and an eye opening moment. A myriad of weird and wonderful stalls that lead into an underground maze.

On this shopping trip she picked up Siouxsie & The Banshees then current single “Spellbound” – i’d never heard of the band. When we got back I booted up my suitcase turntable and we played the record. What a fantastic sound that the little turntable pushed out. I was in awe of just how cool this was.

Then a couple of days later it was “Top Of The Pops time” and the band were on the show. Not only did it sound great, but the band looked amazing. As an impressionable but clued up 11 year old this was a whole new ball game to The Smurfs, Adam & the Ants, The Police, Grease and The Rescuers Soundtrack that occupied my then record collection.

When my cousin left to go back to Scotland she gave me some money. Her Dad worked for an oil company and they were relatively wealthy. I went out an bought The Exploited – Dead Cities 7 inch record with some of the money. I would never have done this had I not a) been to Oasis b) listened to Siouxsie & the Banshees.

It followed that Spellbound remained their best ever single release. It marks the band at their true artistic summit. They had found their own sound with this track after emerging from the first wave of U.K. punk. It’s not a punk track – it’s a pop track. It is however evocative and full of depth. Adding to that rich sound the way the band moved and looked cannot be overlooked. Siouxsie was sharp, edgy and a real icon of the time.

Spellbound, from it’s dream like intro to pounding drums and rhythm  keeps you enchanted throughout its duration. At the end the track fades and the guitar lick I swear is the birth of the sound that would influence The Smiths.

I’ll stop rambling. Check out Spellbound. It should leave you that way…


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